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Ellen DeGeneres Hosts Wayne Pacelle On Show, Donates $25K to HSUS

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Ellen DeGeneres donates $25,000 to end “ag gag” bill in Tennessee and asks HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle to help her get it done.

It’s no secret that daytime talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, is a vegetarian and outspoken animal lover. I have a hard time swallowing her messages sometimes, because she often equates abstaining from meat as the only logical way to care for animals. As a rancher, I understand the clear difference between animal welfare and animal rights; unfortunately, many folks, like Ellen, feel they have to team up with animal rights extremist groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) in order to make a difference.

Last week, I wrote about how Carrie Underwood is speaking out against a Tennessee bill, the Livestock Cruelty Prevention Act, which would protect family farmers from being victimized on their personal property by undercover activists. The bill would require any abuse caught on film to be turned into the authorities within 48 hours.

If abuse is occurring, this measure would help expedite the charges and stop any abuse from continuing. Currently, many activists spend months editing the footage, manipulating the scenarios, and leaking it to the media, instead of just simply reporting the incident. To me, it makes sense that both animals and farmers should be protected against such actions.

DeGeneres recently hosted HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle on her television show, allowing him a few minutes to talk about this bill in Tennessee and urging folks to lobby against it because it prohibits his minions from capturing footage needed to lock up these abusive farmers. He spoke as if such abuse is common practice, and DeGeneres responded by saying how important this message was to get out, and asked, “How will we know if these farmers are abusing their animals then?”

Well, Ellen, how do I know if parents are abusing their children if I’m not allowed to peek in their windows and tape what they’re doing? Surely, if I can videotape a mother having a bad day and spanking her children, I should be able to keep that video until I see fit to release it to whomever can give it the most play. I should be able to take that video home and manipulate it, so that video doesn’t just look like a spanking anymore -- instead I could darken the video, so it makes the room like forbidding and dangerous. I could crank up the noise, so the child’s wails sound much more pained and dramatic. I could zoom in on the “love pat” and put it on repeat, so you couldn’t tell whether it was a quick swat on the butt or a repeated beating. I can do that, right? That’s okay isn’t it?

Obviously, I would never do such a thing, nor do I think a spanking is child abuse. I should clarify for those who might take me literally that the above paragraph is tongue-in-cheek. Obviously, a real child abuse case should be taken seriously, just as the abuse of animals should be prosecuted.

 

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However, in America, we can either trust in the laws we already have in place and honor citizens’ privacy, or we can start playing Big Brother. And, if we’re going to play Big Brother, how far do we go?

Do we allow drones to fly over our homes to peek in our backyards, or take photographs of our feedlots? Do we send undercover investigators to apply for nanny jobs, so they can spy on parents, as activists have done to ranchers for so many years? Put yourself in that situation, and suddenly it gets pretty uncomfortable.

Perhaps I’m taking the comparison too far, or perhaps this is a foreshadowing of what’s to come. All I know is that when DeGeneres hosted Pacelle on her show and promised to donate $25,000 to HSUS to halt this bill in its tracks, she didn’t allow the other side to give its perspective. May I suggest someone like Temple Grandin or, better yet, one of the individuals who introduced the bill to come in and talk about their rationale.

The video of Pacelle on “Ellen” has exceeded 210,000 views on YouTube, and those viewers are only hearing one side of the story -- that “factory farmers” can’t be trusted, and they need to be monitored. Is that the only story we want our consumers to hear? It’s time to engage, folks. Check out the video and add your two cents in the comments section on this blog post, as well as on YouTube.

What do you think about Ellen’s $25,000 pledge? What are your thoughts on the bill? Share your opinions with us today.

By the way, today is the final day to nominate your beef industry heroes for the BEEF 50! To commemorate the start of BEEF magazine’s 50th year of publication in September, we are honoring the best of the best -- the top 50 individuals who have helped to shape our industry and make it great. Whether it’s a seedstock breeder, a professor, a speaker you heard at a conference, a mentor, or yourself, your nominations are welcome! Don’t wait! Nominate that special individual today before the deadline closes.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 22

eshever (not verified)
on Apr 29, 2013

Gov. Haslam still needs to hear from people to ask him to sign this bill so anyone filming abuse undercover has to turn over the footage to authorities within 48 hours. Call the governor at (615) 741-2001 ; e-mail bill.haslam@tn.gov and ask him to sign HB 1191/SB 1248.

Mary (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

Ellen needs to spend some time with some REAL farmers who raise cattle as a living. The ones who have to pull a calf to save mothers and calves life. Someone who has raised a calf with a bottle worked with it every day. Maybe talked to a child who has worked, groomed, even falling asleep on his or her 4-h project. Please people you are going to have people who will abuse animals just like people abuse children but there are far more great farmers out there.

Cat (not verified)
on Jun 20, 2013

Well, people who abuse children get punished. And if the abuse gets caught on film and leads to action that saves the child, then great! The same should be with farm animals. They are defenseless and at the mercy of farmers. Undercover activists save the lives of animals that are being abused. A REAL farmer would want to stop or prevent the abuse, not encourage it and keep it hidden behind closed doors. Unfortunately, it seems that most farmers want to keep it hidden behind closed doors....

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 26, 2013

I agree 100% - and to call the Humane Society an "extremist group" is really telling. While I would think Ellen might have allowed the drafter of the bill to present his side I hardly think there is any possible defense of it. The Humane Society is by far not the only organization that does investigation to speak for the voiceless, to shed light on those who are fighting to keep their actions hidden. There are billions of animals involved and no one believes the spin anymore that the abuse captured on film was rogue individuals, isolated cases.

PETA people hater (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

Once again we have here a glaring example of someone educated beyond their intelligence. Couple that with Ms. DeGeneres makes enough money that she obviously can afford to give token amounts to frivolous causes such as HSUS. The crowd her program attracts is very low brow as evidenced by the types of guests and programming of this show. I can take little comfort in all that as for many of those viewers, this may well represent the only form of informative news gathering they receive.
This may be an example of why we in the beef industry need to strongly consider raising our checkoff fees so that we may better be able to assist proactively address issues such as this.

Melissa Johnston (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

While I used to enjoy Ellen's program, (no longer at home to watch it), I definitely do not agree with her. She needs educated on the other side of things as you said. One sided conversations should not be aired in the manner to sound as if their way is the only way. I believe Oprah learned this the hard way a few years back. If the information is to be provided, then it should be provided in its entirety, with both sides being told so people can decide for themselves. As far as the money, it is my understanding that monies donated to HSUS mostly go to organization costs and advertising, not to animals, or food, or finding them homes. If she wants to throw away that amount of money toward something she doesn't even understand completely, I guess that is her business. I usually do alot of research before investing less money than that. I feel she needs to do her homework a little better as well as recognizing there are two sides to every coin.

Dog breeder who loves ranchers (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

I wrote to Ellen to point out that I was disappointed that she and Wayne didn't even present the bill correctly. It will NOT prevent filming, it merely requires that the film be submitted to authorities within 48 hours. I told her I could not believe that she would condone continued abuse of animals by stopping the immediate reporting of suspected abuse. Not surprising, but no response from her site.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

With Ellen's Costco articles, a letter to Costco seems in order. At least pointing out to small amount HSUS contributes to animals.

on Apr 30, 2013

I think it is a great idea for Celebs. to use their fame and fortune to support groups like PETA and the HSUS so they can buy drones and infringe on people’s rights of privacy said…..the thieves, the pedophiles, the rapist and all the other sick twisted people in the world. I am simply amazed that apparently anyone or group can purchase a drone and spy on people. There is so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to start, but I’m going to give it a try, so here we go! Out on a camping trip with the hubby, get a little cozy around the camp fire or decide, since no one is around, take a little skinny dip in the pound, get back to work on Monday and hey you’re the next youtube sensation! Are how about this one, family on a hunting trip little Timmy has got to relieve himself, so out behind the tree he goes, thinking no one can see him. Let the drone get a good up close photo of that so it can be distributed among pedophiles for the highest bid to donate to a “good cause” to help protect animals. And don’t forget to get a good close up of the families license plates and sticker, showing the State and County so the pedophiles can find him without any trouble. And if that’s not enough let’s take lots of pictures and video of a family ranch, showing where they keep all their tack, all their trailers, their horses let’s make sure it shows the location and when people are home and not home so someone can come in and steal everything they have. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the point. I know a lot of people are going to comment that they (the animal rights group) would never do such a thing with the video. Schools would never knowingly hire a pedophile either but it happens every day, doesn’t it ! It takes one sick twisted person with their own personal agenda to infiltrate a group or an institution to cause unimaginable harm to a child and/or family. I’m sure the next comment would be they (the animal rights groups) are not allowed to fly on private property. How about all the States that have BLM land, what about all those families? If your unfamiliar with what BLM land is do your homework before you comment! And here we have Ellen DeGeneres who is so outspoken about treating everyone with respect, and respecting each other’s rights, watching out for each other and not bullying, donating large amounts of money to one of these groups. How very, very sad. If the beef industry goes down, the farm industry will follow, as the ranching industry helps support the farmers. And then how will all these so called animal lover, vegetarian and vegans feed their dogs, cats, horses, birds, etc. etc. I guess Ellen will just have to have Portia much loved horse’s euthanized! Whoops almost forgot most vets won’t put down a healthy animal, just because the person can’t take care of it anymore. Guess they will have to go to the slaughterhouse! Whoops the humane slaughter houses for horses in the US have been shut down, guess she will have to do the humane thing and shoot it. Whoops the right to bear arms is trying to be taken away from us also. Well guess she’ll just have to watch it starve to death! You think I’m being overly dramatic, keep on supporting these radical groups, and the celebs that also support them and watch what happens!

Nebraska farm/ranch wife (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

Wow..... In a good way WOW!!!! I agree with you totally. What people don't understand is the effect of knee jerk reactions. All of the what if's and possibilities need to be understood. And all of your whoops' at the end are right. These are a specific chain of events that will take place if people don't start to wake up for sure. We need to be pro-active in stopping radical groups. I'm not sure where the concept of common sense went but for some reason many people never got a dose of it or they disregard it totally. I also find it rather funny and ironic that Ellen donated that large of a sum of money to an organization that really does nothing positive in the aspect of actually helping animals.

John R. Dykers, Jr. (not verified)
on Apr 30, 2013

We Cattlemen and women should all support the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The SPCA is what we do and they seem to be good people. Anybody know otherwise?
johndykersmd@dykers.com

on May 1, 2013

John you might try the HumaneWatch.org website or they have a FaceBook page. This group is against the HSUS and Peta and they may have some info on there about legit groups. I haven't been through all their page yet but I seem to remember a link to charity watch which I know nothing about but am told they rate different orginizations as to which one's really help and the ones that don't. I would suggest sticking to a local group in your area, what most people don't know is the HSUS after making sure they are in the spot light rescuing animals dump most all of them on other groups to be taken care of. I think the farmers and ranchers should find a legit group that is willing to speak out against HSUS and PETA and support them.

Matthew Leiferman (not verified)
on May 1, 2013

I agree that farmers and ranchers such as my self should have the chance to voice our own opinion on this subject. I is extremely annoying and angering that celebrities such as Ellen are only giving the animal activists a chance to make people fear and hate the agricultural industry through means such a doctored videos and pictures to make it look like the agricultural community is harming animals and humans alike through our actions. I hope that some day we will be able to express our own side of the story, the good side where we treat animals respectfully and do not abuse them.

on May 1, 2013

Another "enlightened" celebrity fleeced by Parcel and the HSUS. $24,999 will go into Wayne's pocket. Once again Ellen reveals her limited intelligence.

on May 2, 2013

No comments allowed on the video. Parcel flat lied about the law and it's intent.

on May 5, 2013

Great conversation, everyone. I think that we shouldn't rely on celebrities to be our spokespersons, but we should celebrate the ones who do great things for our industry.

Have you all heard the new voice of the "Beef, It's What's For Dinner" commercials? He's from a farm in MN.

Or, have you seen Ree Drummond cooking up a chicken fried steak on her Food Network Show or in her NY Times Best Selling cookbooks?

Or, what about Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton? They hunt, fish, live in rural Oklahoma, have rescued 20+ dogs, own horses and Miranda has even learned to barrel race! Talk about sticking to your country roots even when you've become a mega-superstar!

These are the folks we should reach out to, not to take the place of producers being their own advocates, but to lend their celebrity status to help bring our voices to a larger platform. Just my two cents -- a little off topic -- this Sunday morning. Thanks for the great discussion!

on May 5, 2013

Good point Amanda we should be Thankful for the "Good old Boys & girls" who support and appreciate the Ranchers and Farmers. Well said!

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 11, 2013

If there is nothing to hide, then why try to hide it? If a person is caught abusing a child (or any other person) on "a bad day", then they are prosecuted.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 15, 2013

The difference between someone abusing a child and farmers abusing animals is that the animals are part of the food chain. If someone is found to be abusing children, the penalties aren't light. When farmers commonly abuse animals, they get a slap on the wrist. Thankfully, the meat industry is declining, and clearly worried.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 13, 2013

ELLEN just lost me as a fan.

wendi bernt (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2013

Ellen has lost me as a fan as well. Her money would be much better spent sticking to issues that she understands. Unfortunately, John Q Public believes that they understand because HSUS has done such a great job in manipulating the media and "their media". Why isn't she more interested in enforcing the death penalty for treason....Manning just got 35 years for leaking 1000's of documents putting our soldiers and country in harms way. He is eligible for parole in 7 years. We have real problems in this country......HSUS is one of them.

I would advocate for Dr. David Sjeklocha to represent the beef industry on the "ELLEN" show! He has provento be quite eloquent and informed and has represented the beef industry quite well in these instances. She needs to hear from the other side.

well then i just got BOOMED (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

I just have to say that ellen is a great person and I am at school doing a report on her. Have a nice day and stuff like that so ya bye.

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A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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